Reduce, Reuse, Recycle With Recyclable Materials

If your shop is stocked with a wide assortment of reconditioned tools, it is possible to tackle lots of recyclable materials.

Why in the world would you ever “Have To” buy tools brand new? Why not just buy reconditioned tools and save yourself a bundle? Your budget will allow for more “toys” in the shop! Buying reconditioned tools is a super way to recycle. Keep those tools useable and use the warranty to have them factory reconditioned when they need repair. When tools are reconditioned they are usually made to be like new. They may not look like it on the outside, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Just exactly how far would you go to recycle? Most of us can probably say we save aluminum cans.Plastic bags as recyclable materials image All of us have more plastic grocery bags than we know what to do with. Even plenty of excess rocks and stones lay in most landscapes just begging to be reused in a great landscape project.

Which recyclable materials do you reuse?


What have you ever tried to make with any of these items? There are so many different recyclable materials readily available. One of my latest favorite ideas is pendant lights made with quart jars.

One of the afternoon shows featured using mason jars as globes on a pre-made lighting wiring harness. With the use of a cordless drill, like in the Makita LXT211 combo kit, you can quickly make these pendant style lights. They were made by drilling the 2 piece metal flat from the jar cap and running the wiring through with long bulbs attached. Obviously, the jar served as the globe. Design taste would negotiate where you hang them, but over a shop table or kitchen island would be perfect.

Rocks from the landscape imageI’m sure plenty of you have tried your hand at using earthen products like rocks to make various projects. Some of the most attractive walkways and garden seats are made with rocks straight off the landscape. You can even use the excess rocks cleaned from your property to border a small garden or goldfish pond. What about all the recyclable materials in the garage to use inside the pond for the fish to spawn under?

Recyclable Materials are All Around You!

One of the simplest recycling projects I’ve seen is with Colored Duck Tape brand duct tape. Folks can be pretty creative, and some of these projects can be very elaborate. Wallets are probably simple enough for the novice duct tape artist. There are even contests for teens to create their prom outfits from colorful tape for huge prizes. Needless to say, there are some very crafty, and brave people to create costumes tough enough to actually wear.

Cutting up old fabric flour sacks to make quilt squares is timeless recycling from the past. Using plastic bags to make “plarn” or plastic yarn goes a bit too far in my opinion. Though, making a belt, a pot scrubber or a woven dog leash from plastic yarn could be a plus in a pinch, if there were no dollar stores around!  It is similar to the idea of old hoop rugs made from grandma’s fabric scraps. I must admit, some recyclable materials are better left as reusable just like they were intended.

The recycling use of non-purchased items is such a money saver. Don’t assume you have to be a die-hard recycler, or a tree-hugger to enjoy recycling projects with recyclable materials. I’m not talking about stretching to reuse dog fur to make a sweater! Try reusing bottle caps for inlaid designs in a new countertop. Or why not simply cut up a second hand fence rail for a new mailbox post. Step out of the box, and try your hand at using something old to make something new as a recycled project.

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